Anyone without ANY plumbing?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by mountainman_bc, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. mountainman_bc

    mountainman_bc Well-Known Member

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    I'm living in a 5th wheel, have been since I sold my old house (trappers cabin) and it's been tight but fine. It's going to be a nippy winter.
    Sawdust toilet, not an issue, everyone should have one.
    Our climate is fairly cold here, and when not freezing cold it is damp cold but it freezes basically from now until April.
    I have a 'yard hydrant' which is supposed to never freeze and it's about 300' from the trailer. The water is very cold but it runs all winter.

    I had some waterline buried from the hydrant to the trailer last week (been using hose). But my problem is after buying MANY different attachments to get the line to hose attachment (the trailer) they all keep leaking. Drips, sprays. Clamps/teflon tape, nothing helps. The people at both hardware stores are sick of me asking for more ideas. Something this basic should not be so hard.

    OK I suppose I'm whining. Has anyone found a good system to having no water in the house?
     
  2. snoozy

    snoozy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When I was living in my 20ft shipping container (with skylight and a couple windows), I used a metal insulated urn-type thing (like for coffee) with a spigot at the bottom. I brought water from my workplace, heated some on my Coleman two burner, and poured it in the urn for doing dishes or washing hands. I had a stainless sink with a side drainboard area to it, and it just drained into a five gallon plastic bucket. The bucket got dumped outside. I did have to go to a friend's place to take a shower before I went to work, or sometimes I splurged and spent 50 cents on a shower at a nearby State park. After my house was built, but before I had kitchen counters and a sink, I used the same set-up outside on the front porch for 3 years. Amazing, now that I think of it, but I had built a strawbale house and we didn't want to plumb the kitchen until we had the interior bales stuccoed, which did not happen for three years because we ran out of money.

    I will say this: if you live in a shipping container for 7 months and then live without a kitchen sink for 3 years, ain't nothing more luxurious and wonderful than doing dishes inside with hot water from taps that you just, like, magically, turn on!! I mean: WHAT A CONCEPT!! :happy:
     

  3. Ed0517

    Ed0517 Well-Known Member

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    What about aquarium sealant - silicon caulk stuff? Maybe too cold, maybe not... check out a tube. When you separate things later, though, you'll likely need to use a razor and cut it off. Hey, if it doesn't poison the fish....
     
  4. snoozy

    snoozy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    As far as working with the hydrant, it sounds like the water pressure is too much for mere mortal plumbing, which is what one might expect -- you ever see water gushing out of a hydrant?
     
  5. mountainman_bc

    mountainman_bc Well-Known Member

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    I think you all have god ideas there. A shipping container? I was joking about that recently as I had everything I own incl the tractor in one before I got the RV. But that is rustic! I know what you mean about the sink, as when i finally got the hot water back (moved into the RV) is was just SO NICE! Sadly the tank hold a quick two minutes then it's cold but let me tell you that 2 minutes is heaven.
    With the aquarium sealant, it may be the pressure which can't be fixed w/o a backhoe- so it might bust through. But you know I've fixed some crazy things with it and it always amazed me. I won't try because if it busts midwinter I'll have some breakage problems, and it needs warm dry air to re-seal it.
    And yes- it might be pressure but I can't tell. I did have it working perfectly at one point until I detached it to bury the line. Never right since, and I even went out and rebought the exact parts and they failed me. Something wrong with the connection, pressure I don't know. Thanks.
     
  6. Ruby

    Ruby Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You need a pressure regulator to connect the water hose to the camper. You can get them at any place they sell camper supplys. What is happening is there is too much pressure. It will blow out your water lines in your camper. They are not made to handle the pressure that comes from a water spiget.
     
  7. halfpint

    halfpint Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree on the pressure regulator. Also, doen't your 5th wheel have a water holding tank and a pump to pump the water? You could fill this tank occasionally with your hose and use the pump. If your pump is bad, they aren't very expensive to replace - we replaced one a few years ago and it was around $30 for a new pump.

    If you're in a very cold area, you may have problems with the hose line freezing outside the trailer.

    If all else fails, you can use large water containers at the sinks to use for washing, and a clean garden sprayer can be used for a shower, just put some water at the temp you like to take a shower in (assuming you can heat water on your stove), pump it up and spray. We used to do this when camping when I was a child.
     
  8. justmyluk

    justmyluk Well-Known Member

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    Don't know how you ran your line, but if it were me I would run the 300' to regular water spicket about 5 feet from the camper and then screw on a pressure reducer (no more than 50psi) (about 5 bucks a wally world camping section). Then regular water hose (white drinking water hose) to the camper. These are all simple connections and it should not leak. Then just wrap the short hose with pipe insulation and you should be good to go for the winter. I've done a lot of winter camping and never had a problem. I have run this setup to my 25' travel trailer that I have parked behind my workshop and it works great.

    Best of luck on your leaks!!
     
  9. raymilosh

    raymilosh Well-Known Member

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    Are you saying that there is now a connection from the spigot on the yard hydrant that goes underground and then resurfaces and is attached to the plumbing system of the trailer by a standard garden hose connector? And that it leaks right at the connector, but nowhere else? Or is is the piping in the trailer it self that is leaking?

    If it is connected to the spigot on the yard hydrant, there will likely be freezing and cracking problems, there, too and I cold suggest how to fix it.

    Does it leak right away, or does it leak after a night of freezing temps?
    is the buried line made of black plastic with gray plastic connectors? If you describe exactly what type of materials the system is made of and where it is leaking, we'll probably be able ot come up with a solution.

    If it has been leaking AFTER it freezes, then we'll figure out how to keep it from freezing. If it leaks right away, then there will be some other solution. I'm kind of suspecting that you have a black plastic pipe that fits to a gray plastic barbed fitting and that it is leaking there despite all your efforts to tighten the hose clamps. if that's the case....the answer is that the black pipe must be warmed until it feels pliable...propane torch is easiest, but any method works..lighter, magnifying glass, vigorous rubbing.etc
     
  10. Aintlifegrand

    Aintlifegrand Well-Known Member

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    We have been living in our house without plumbing on the 3 days a week that we build. We have electricity so we can heat water for dishes etc. I have been using several 2.5 gallon water containers with a spigot and placed a galvanized tub underneath it to wash dishes and wash up. For showers we use a 55 gallon container and a compresser with a water hose sprayer out side...now that it is winter I am at a loss for what we will do for a shower. I too would like to hear any suggestions for bathing without water hook ups.
     
  11. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

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    Inside we have 2 - 50 gallon barrels up on a stand (about 5 ft high) each has a spigot and I put a hose on one for filling large buckets on the floor or for reaching over to the wood stove to fill large pans there (for bath water, a luxury soaking bath is only 5 gallons total) I just hold small pots (coffee) under the other spigot to fill them.

    The barrels are filled as needed with water hoses from the tank at the well. We get plenty of non freezeing days for this chore.
     
  12. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This is a bit of a misconception. Yard Hydrants dont freeze because the actual water value is 8ft down. The handle is acutally moving something down below the freeline. If you run water above the free line it will freeze, so If you water line to house is burried and you bring it up to the faucet your going to get frozen pipes. ALL connections need to be below the freeze line. Thats usually 3ft in many northern climes.
     
  13. frugalville

    frugalville Well-Known Member

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    Gary is right on this. The hydrant is fine because when you turn it off the water actually runs out the bottom of the hydrant underground. If it was installed properly with gravel around it, the hydrant will be fine all winter.

    Any hose above ground is trouble. RV water fittings are nothing more than glorified garden hose. Cold, vinyl, non moving water and constant pressure are not a recipe for success. Is your new underground line T-d of of the hydrant ? Is that connection underground ? I'd put another hydrant on the end closest to your rv and just make a stubby hose to fill the tanks when needed. Or.. move your rv next to the hydrant and run new electrical.

    Look at your RV and find out what is heated space. Is your internal water tank in a heated space ? I would fill the tank, and then pull the hose until the next fill. Keep you hose in a warm space. Your water in the tank will be at room temperature instead of sub zero.

    Even if you get the water inlet fixed, I'm sure you have the issue of waste tanks. Are they heated ? Or are you using a compost toilet, and letting the grey water do it's thing?

    Remember frozen surface ground won't perk well.

    Some RV's have waste and water tanks in a heated space or artic packs. These are setup for winter camping. Most don't. I'd check your gear.

    In any case, we stayed in ours for 5 months while building. It's amazing to see what you can actually live without.

    Best to you, and stay warm.